SOUTHERN COLORADO — The impact of COVID-19 can be seen across the country within grocery stores, where certain aisles are in high demand. However, News5 met with a truck driver, who said there's no need to panic buy, because they are doing their best to restock those shelves with supplies.
Christopher Dittmar teaches other people how to drive semi-trucks at the U.S. Truck Driving School. Right now, the school is closed because of COVID-19 concerns. "As long as the DMV's are closed, there's no licenses coming in. Nobody can get their permit," said Dittmar, who has had his commercial driver's license for around two years.
Dittmar said that is concerning, because if drivers out on the road get sick, there are no new ones coming in to take their place. "If the truckers get sick and they quit driving, then everybody's going to feel the effects," said Dittmar.
According to CDL Life, if trucks stopped running for even a day, medical supplies would not be delivered to hospitals, U.S. mail and packages would stop, and food shortages would start. "If trucking were to stop, just for 24 hours, we'd start to feel the effects. Without trucking up to four weeks, we'd have a complete stop in all of our economy," said Dittmar.
Fortunately, Dittmar said truckers are not stopping during this pandemic. Dittmar also said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has waived their limitation for drivers that only allowed them to drive for 11 hours a day. "A lot of truck drivers are probably pushing their limits right now to try to keep supply and demand rolling," said Dittmar.
Dittmar said we can all help truckers by not stopping at truck stops often, to lessen the risk of exposing them to the virus. "Truckers are a part of a larger chain of unsung heroes that are fighting hard to keep society together," said Dittmar.
Dittmar also said sharing the road with trucks is especially important right now, when more trucks than normal may be out on the roads. Tips include using your blinker, not cutting a truck off, and making sure trucks can see you.